Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
SNP ministers have decided to ignore a ruling by one of Scotland’s most senior judges that threatens the spread of wind farms because they consider turbines to be in the “national interest”, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
National Grid has been quietly signing up thousands of diesel generators, linked by computers to the grid, which can be automatically switched on at a moment’s notice to cover for any power shortage. And their main purpose, although National Grid tries to deny it, is to make up for the unreliability of that ever-increasing number of heavily subsidised wind farms the Government wants to see built, in its efforts to “de-carbonise” our electricity supply.
The chief executive of the energy giant Scottish & Southern Energy said on Thursday night it was time for a national debate about the country’s green agenda after unveiling an 8.2 per cent price rise for customers. ...Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, added: “This price rise will be a blow for stretched budgets. The hike comes at a time when some working households are turning to food banks to feed their families as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.
In June, energy regulator Ofgem said that risks to security of electricity supply - the danger of the lights not being kept on - had increased due to the UK's shortage of power stations and new wind farms. It also warned that the risk of electricity customer disconnections would "appreciably increase".
The coalition is heading for a fresh dispute over green energy after a call by Downing Street to water down climate commitments as part of efforts to keep power bills down. ...But any attempt to water down or end the Eco, which is set to run until 2015, will meet stiff opposition from the Liberal Democrats
On wind farms – seen by many as an expensive blight on the countryside, subsidised by the taxpayer to burnish the image of politicians who live nowhere near them – the PM is equally diplomatic. “Recently, I opened the London Array and it’s good that Britain is leading the way in this technology. But as I say, you shouldn’t keep the subsidies for any longer than is necessary.”
There is enough credible evidence and enough of an opposition to end a policy of support for industrial wind energy. Yet still we see wind farms popping up all around the country. Isn't it about time that we looked at all the evidence cumulatively? Isn't it about time that we just chalked it up as a loss and tried something else?
In June, Ofgem warned that the risk of blackouts in 2015 had risen to one in four, if energy demand continued at its current level. Uncertainty around the amount of available electricity in 2015 and 2016 meant that it was "prudent" to consider keeping mothballed plants in reserve, it said. GDF Suez, the energy company that has mothballed its Teesside gas power station, has estimated that keeping plants on standby could cost between £90 million and £120 million per year.
Mr Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, accused Conservatives of attempting to "destroy" the UK's renewables industry. He singled out Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, warning that he is trying to "cull" wind turbines.
Europe's deepening energy crisis has for now replaced debt troubles as the region's top worry, with major implications for the Commission's draft paper on shale expected in October. The EU's industry and environment directorates are pitted against each other. The new legislation could in theory stop Britain, Poland, and others going ahead with fracking.
"Alex Salmond is driving an aggressive green agenda like an express train across Scotland, bludgeoning anyone who gets in the way as being a Luddite and anti-green. No wind farm developer has ever had to explain the benefits of wind. Evidence tells us that wind power performance shows not only no reduction in carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions, but also the very reverse."
Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a "game-changer" for future wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental lawyer, said: "This ruling means that consents and permissions for further wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with, and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and contribute to the NREAP."
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, said: "Wind farms definitely affect house prices and it is highly likely that this report will come to that conclusion. "I would expect there to be billions of pounds of planning blight because of wind turbines close to properties. I'm sure the evidence will come out soon that proves a number of these points correct."
Struan Stevenson organised and co-hosted the first National Anti-Wind Conference in Welshpool, along with Glyn Davies MP and Chris Heaton-Harris MP. Filmed by Leontyka.com Duration: 6 minutes 18 seconds
Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: "These proposals could block wind power in most of the country with worrying consequences for the industry, for communities and landowners and for the Scottish economy.
From Washington to London, shale gas rather than any renewable technology is seen as the future. Even nations such as Germany and Spain, which led the march to green energy, are slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. ...the average share price of companies in the renewable sector has fallen by 80 per cent over five years. The heavy cost of green energy policies might have been justifiable if they had delivered results, but they haven't.
Nobody with a sense of fiscal responsibility could endorse the massive subsidies being lavished on wind power which, as we report, are being maintained despite the Government's proclaimed culture of austerity. ...the Government's EU-prescribed goal of providing 20 per cent of the country's energy requirements from ''renewables'' by 2020 does not look realistic or financially responsible.
When asked by Politics.co.uk how community input into onshore wind farm development would work in practice, Davey said the debate would be between the communities and the developers - and that it would not be helpful for the government to impose strict regulations on how the dialogue progressed.
We all want to help to protect the environment and it would be nice to rely entirely on clean energy sources. But solar energy comes with plenty of problems. Its impact upon the landscape is likely to be significant: the level of solar power that Mr Barker wants would necessitate erecting solar panels of up to 10ft tall across an area more than 100 times the size of London's Olympic Park.
A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job. The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for the wind industry, which claims it is an economically dynamic sector that creates jobs.